French manners and civility were the model for European civilization, while feud is associated with backward societies. Yet in France thousands of men died in duels in which the supposed rules of honour were regularly flouted. In this detailed and original book Stuart Carroll explores the nature of vengeance and reveals the dark side of Renaissance civilization.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -349) and index
I. The structure of vindicatory violence -- The origins of dispute : blood and earth -- The origins of dispute : status and honour -- Honours and prerogatives -- Escalation : from verbal duel to vindicatory exchange -- Conspiracy -- Combat -- The rage of the gods -- II. Violence and society -- Justice and the law -- Peace -- Women, sex, and vindicatory violence -- III. Violence and the polity -- Quantifying violence -- The crisis of the religious wars -- Violence and royal authority in the seventeenth century -- Solutions